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Middle Eastern Peoples' Facial Markings?  
User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 9
Posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5083 times:

Hi there.

Can anyone tell me what the facial markings stand for that you see on the foreheads of people who look like they are from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, etc.

This is a serious question. I'm not just goofing around. In light of the recent terrorist attacks on the U.S....It has been suggested on TV shows that society should try to better understand other cultures' religions, beliefs etc, to help stop the occurance of racism and ethnic profileing.

I see people who look Middle Eastern all the time when I'm out shopping. A lot of them have different coloured dots on their foreheads as well as many other markings, like white smears of colour. What do these markings stand for? Are they to show if someone's married for example? Our could they have religious meanings?

I've wondered about these markings for years, but have never felt comfortable about just walking up to someone and asking them "Hey, What's That Dot On Your Forehead Mean??? So, if I should start learning about other cultures, Here's a good place to start.

Only serious replies please. We could learn something.

Chris  Smile






"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineStaffan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5042 times:

It shows what social rank the person belongs to.

Staffan


User currently offlineRyanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3221 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5040 times:

For a start you could learn that none of those countries are in the Middle East - they are in the Indian Subcontinent or South Asia! The dot on the forehead is a 'bindi', a sign of hinduism worn by female Hindus.


I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
User currently offlineClimbout From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 5035 times:

A lot of Indians have been mistaken for being Middle Eastern. There are many Indians called (Seeks or Seiks--don't know the exact spelling. I'm sure someone will correct me), that look Middle Easter because they wear turbans. They have been targeted with hate crimes because they "look" Arab, in fact one was killed in Arizona shortly after the attacks.

Anyway, we have a small Indian population in a city out here called Artesia, and you see them walking around in thier native clothing with the markings on their heads. I used to wonder about the markings too.

Yes, we need to be educated. Thanks for bringing up this topic.


User currently offlineRyanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3221 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5026 times:

You are referring to Sikhs. They wear a turban for religious purposes. Very few Muslims wear them - the Afghanis do as a matter of culture only. Many Bangladeshi/Pakistani muslim wear 'gangsta' style white laced head coverings - especially when praying

Having lived in the middle east, here is an A-Z of Middle Eastern/Indian Subcontinent/Islamic fashion.

Guys who look like they are wearing white sheets with a 'towel' around their head: this is a 'Dish Dash' and is worn by Arabian Arabs - i.e. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen, Qatar etc.

Guys wearing black/red turbans - Sikhs: from Indian/Pakistani Punjab region

Ladies/Men with red dots on head - Hindus

Ladies with head dyed red - married Indian hindus (traditional)

Men with 'navy' shaped hats - Malaysian/Indonesian Muslims (South-East Asia)

Guys with little round 'skullcaps' on their scalp - Jews

Guys dressed in Black suits with Black hats and flowing curly locks to the side - Orthodox/Hassidic Jews

Guys/Girls wearing blue denim jeans with blue denim jackets and backpacks - French Students

Guys/Girls with pierced lips, tattooed heads and rock clothing - German Students

Ugly drunk men with fat bellies and skinheads singing 'In-gur-land' and 'No surrender to the IRA' - English soccer hooligans

Irate, screaming madwomen with no teeth and who weigh 25 stone - mothers-in-law


By the way, I am a white Englishman



I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
User currently offlineKcle From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 686 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5017 times:

Another two questions. I've seen Jewish people wearing what appears to be almost a cowboy hat, except it's black, and has sharp angles, and doesn't stick up as high. These men also wear jet black clothing, too. What rank are they in the jewish faith?

Also, is there a such god as "Ganesh?" I saw it on the Simpsons, and I'm wondering if it is real. Ganesh looks like an elephant, with six arms, I believe, and either has a silk veil over the eyes, or wears a bright red colored suit. Not trying to be funny, but i would like to know if this Ganesh is just that.


User currently offlineRyanb741 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 3221 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5015 times:

Those are the Orthodox/Hassidic Jews. It is not a rank, but rather a more strict form of Judaism.

Ganesh is a Hindu deity, the 'Elephant God'.



I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
User currently offlineMr spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5014 times:

Hi There.

Thanks for your replies.

>Staffan, Can you expand a little on what you mean by these markings show what "Social Rank the person belongs to"? The first thing I thought of when I read social rank was Kings, Queens, etc. Or do you simply mean their marital status as their social rank?

>Ryanb741, thanks for the geographical "wake up" call. I thought I might have screwed that one up! I understand that the Middle East involves countries like Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Israel etc. Also, your detailed info is much appreciated.

>Climbout, I'm sorry to hear about that kind of violence near your home. It started happening here in Toronto too, right after the terrorist attacks. Muslims had several of their temples (sorry, but I'm not sure on how to spell Mosks) burned down! Very sad.

Chris  Smile



"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 5006 times:

Mr Spaceman, if you find yourself suddenly surrounded by several of these people, its probably Ash Wednesday.  Big grin



"Shaddap you!"
User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5003 times:

Hi JetService.

I can't remmember what religion reconizes Ash Wednesday, probably because I'm an Irish Canadian. I just know that it's listed on all my calenders every year.

Chris  Smile/happy/getting dizzy



"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
User currently offlineJetService From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 4798 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5000 times:

Mr Spaceman, its a Catholic thang.


"Shaddap you!"
User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 5001 times:

Well, there you go. I'm not Catholic. I'm Anglican...I think! I believe in a higher power (call it GOD if you want), but I don't believe in Jesus. Maybe I'm Jewish, and don't even know it!

Chris  Smile



"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
User currently offlineBarfBag From India, joined Mar 2001, 2248 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4988 times:

Ladies/Men with red dots on head - Hindus
Ladies with head dyed red - married Indian hindus (traditional)


Traditionally married Indian women have a red dot on their forehead and often also red powder rubbed at the parting of their hair at their forehead. These dots are traditionally of red dye powder.

However they've caught on as a fashion statement and come as stickers in various shapes and colors, popular among married and unmarried women alike. I don't think I've ever seen women with their 'head dyed red'!

Arabs and Afghan men usually wear white turbans loosely tied around their heads, while Sikhs usually sport colored ones (black, red, dark blue etc). Also the Sikh turban is very snugly tied with no loose ends, and almost gives the impression that its been moulded into its shape. Its pretty easy to tell them apart once you see them side by side.

That said, its easy to mistake people of South Asian descent for Arabs. As an Indian, I have been mistaken for an Arab more than once, though I have not faced any untoward incident since 9/11. One of my most memorable incidents was at PIT checkin last winter.

As I was checking in (verry early in the morning, half asleep) I provided my ID and e-ticket itinerary. Without as much as a word, the agent showed me a cardboard piece with something written on it in what looked like Arabic.
me: I really don't know how to read Arabic!
agent: Oh, you know English ?
me: Of course I do. I'm not Arabic, by the way.
agent (red faced): I'm so sorry sir. I assumed you were an Arab. .

I didn't know what to make of it. It was rather amusing but I wondered why she didn't just ask me if I knew English rather than try to second guess my ethnicity.



India, cricket junior and senior world champions
User currently offlineEIPremier From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1549 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (13 years 1 month 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4976 times:

That said, its easy to mistake people of South Asian descent for Arabs.

Speaking of which, I'm really fed up with the media referring to the Afghans as Arabs? Now I realize there are many different ethnicities within the country, but people of Arabic background are a minority.


User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (13 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 4962 times:

Thank You, averyone, for all your replies. You were serious...so I learned something.

>Ryanb741, your detailed info is much appreciated. I liked how you included other cultures and occupations in your post.  Big thumbs up

Chris



"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
User currently offlineSkyhawk From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1066 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (13 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4951 times:

Mr. Spaceman, if you were truly Anglican, then you would believe in Jesus Christ, and since you have said that you don't believe in Him, then you can't be(btw, for that I feel sorry for you). You don't even know what to call your higher power- mine is God and that is what I call Him. BTW you said you may be Jewish, did you ever stop and think about it, Christ was Jewish too?
I hope you aren't offended by this but I will include you in my prayers tonight that your eyes become open to His love and to the power thast only He can bring. God bless.


User currently offlineMr Spaceman From Canada, joined Mar 2001, 2787 posts, RR: 9
Reply 16, posted (13 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4940 times:

Hi Skyhawk.

Thank You, for offering to pray for me, however that's not nessary. I have lots of freinds and family that I'm sure are watching over me who have already died. I lost my last two Grandparents this summer within two months of each other (one was my Dad's Mom, the other my Mom's Dad). Where they went spiritually, well I couldn't tell you, nobody can! Physically...I burried them!

If you read my post again, you'll see that I said "I'm Anglican...I think". The reason I said this is because...What are you considered in the world of Religion if you believe in a GOD, no one else, and your not Catholic? Remmember, I'm a white Irish Canadian.

Regarding the Jews, is it not true that they believe in GOD, but not jesus! That's why I made that comment.

P.S. You by no way offended me.

Take Care.

Chris  Smile




"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
User currently offlineSkyhawk From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1066 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (13 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 4925 times:

You are right when you said that Jews believe in God. They also believe that Jesus existed as a man, but they don't believe that He is the son of God and the savior of mankind. Maybe I am wrong but I don't think you know what to believe. Am I wrong? Anglicans do believe in Christ as their savior, so to consider yourself as part of that group maybe a little off base right now. You are also right when you mentioned your grandparents and not knowing where they have "gone". None of us left on earth do know and won't know anything until Christ returns to earth and the dead are raised up. Anyway, please accept my condolences on your grandparents, I've been there.
By the way, the fact that you are a white Irish Canadian really has nothing to do with whether you are Anglican, Christian, Jew, or anything else-just be proud of your heritage!


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